Miss Emma Cooper

Emma Cooper

Miss Emma Cooper

Postgraduate research student

Phone: +44 (0)7491658729

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Personal profile

Second year doctoral student funded by the London NERC Doctoral Training Partnership. Current research focusing on ice sheet deglaciation and palaeo-lake evolution at sites in Argentine and Chilean Patagonia (44-45oS), South America. 

My PhD investigates the response of Patagonian palaeo-glaciers, and their proglacial/ice-dammed lakes, to the onset of deglaciation following the end of the Southern Hemisphere Last Glacial Maximum (LGM, ~21 ka). During the LGM, the Patagonian Ice Sheet covered most of Chile, calving into the Pacific to the West and terminating in the Argentinean foothills to the East. Most chronological data is focused around the Northern (NPI, 46-47oS), Southern (SPI, 48-51oS) and Cordillera Darwin (CDI, 54oS) Icefields, and there are few data North of the NPI. This latitudinal focusing of data impedes our ability to assess climatic or dynamical controls on ice sheet recession. Likewise, a lack of high-resolution chronologies limits the accuracy of palaeo-glacier reconstructions. My PhD aims to provide a detailed assessment of sediment-landform assemblages in the Pico (44oS) and Cisnes (45oS) valleys in order to better constrain the processes and dynamics of palaeo ice sheet behaviour, and to develop new chronological datasets that quantify the timing of proglacial lake development and drainage for this region of the former Patagonian Ice Sheet.

Research interests

My PhD is utilising multiple methodologies, including:

  • Cosmogenic Nuclide Surface Exposure Dating
  • Geographical Information Systems
  • Glaciolacustrine Varve Chronologies
  • Field Geomorphology and Sedimentology
  • Tephrostratigraphy


Teaching Assistant (2019-2020): GG1015- Digital Geographies: Remote sensing and GIS

Educational background

PhD, Department of Geography (2018-2022)- Royal Holloway, University of London: Patagonian Ice Sheet deglaciation and palaeo-lake evolution in the Pico and Cisnes valleys.

MSc, Climate Change (2016-2017)- University College London: Revisiting the 8.2 kyr event: abrupt deglacial climate change and ocean circulation from the northern North Atlantic.

BSc, Physical Geography (2013-2016)- Royal Holloway, University of London: Distinguishing Polar Diamictons: a quantitative marine core analysis, the Amundsen Sea Sector, West Antarctica.


Other work

Research Assistant, (Sept-Dec 2017)- University College London

Work on RAPID-17-5P. A marine core that was collected from the Iceland Basin (S-Iceland) as part of the RAPID Climate Change programme. Sample preparation for sortable silt analysis, planktic foraminifera counts/ benthic picking for stable isotopes.

Laboratory Assistant, (2017)- University College London

Plant macrofossil picking, sorting and identification from lake sediments.

Placement, (Aug, 2015)- British Antarctic Survey

Student placement with Dr James Smith (Palaeo-Ice Sheets Working Group). Data manipulation (core properties data), sediment description, (sub)sampling and x-radiograph interpretation.

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